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All related (8)
Mamuna Oyofo, MBA
VP of Product at Shopify February 9

The biggest mistake I will mention here is not getting stakeholder buy-in. A lot of times we make assumptions about what people want and do not take the time ahead of to understand needs. Speak to those needs and share any constraints. Work to bring alignment across stakeholders. In the end, stakeholders lose trust in the product manager because they do not feel seen or heard. It is important that pre-work is done ahead of time so that when roadmaps are being presented, nothing comes as a surprise.

Milena Krasteva
Sr Director II, Product Management - Marketing Technology at Walmart June 8

It seems all too easy to NOT get roadmap buy-in. Sometimes, it can feel like the default answer is always "No" at first, and despite all the work you have done, you are getting sent back to the drawing board.

Some things that help, not in any particular order:

  • Go as wide as possible early on as pre-work to understand stakeholders' motivations and identify any possible opposition
  • Dig deep to identify the true source of the opposition. Listen a lot, ask questions. Treat this exercise as part of requirements gathering.
  • Identify dependencies early
  • Tie roadmap item to financial impact upside
  • Is the impact estimate credible and defensible
  • Is the level of effort astronomical, or disproportionate to value
  • Is there a downside, beyond the lost oportunity of not doing the feature
  • Tie roadmap to broader strategy
  • Are you potentially missing technical or other considerations?
  • Have you been transparent and collaborative? Is anybody going to oppose the roadmap because they were excluded from discussions and decisions
  • Get exec buy-in in smaller forums, early, even at the conceptual level
  • Build a coalition of active supporters - there is safety in numbers
  • Assume positive intent
  • Seek to educate not sell
  • Seek common ground
  • Consider earlier conversations as setting the stage and foundation for later decisions. Aim to first not get a "no", rather than pushing for an immediate "yes"
  • Give yourself enough time to work iteratively through to buy-in.